It was an elephant-heavy week, with young ones galore and breeding herds surrounding the Londolozi Camps practically every day.
Lions have also been plentiful of late, with both Nkuhuma and Ntsevu prides roaming the north- and south-eastern regions of the reserve respectively. The Tsalala female was seen briefly by rangers on a bush walk, but she had moved off by the afternoon and we were unable to find her to take some photos.
Late rains last night mean we will probably get a green flush over the next week, but the bulk of our rains are most likely done until October, so expect to see a gradual browning of the background in the photos over the coming months…
Enjoy this Week in Pictures…
A young lion from the Nkuhuma pride drinks from the Manyelethi Riverbed. As great as it is for our lion viewing to have this large pride being seen more regularly to the north of the Sand River, it doesn’t bode well for the Tsalala pride, who are being seen less and less.
The Nkuhuma lions prostrate themselves in the sands of the Manyelethi.
This week was about elephants, and this calf was only a few days old. Here she was encountering mud for probably the first time, and didn’t quite know what to make of it.
An Ntsevu young male, making full use of his long tongue as a cleaning agent.
White-fronted bee-eaters gather en masse to dust bathe near the Sand River.
Photographically this sighting was nothing special, but if you look closely you’ll see the enormously long eye-lashes of this elephant cow. They were certainly the longest I’ve ever seen and are probably the result of some kind of genetic anomaly.
These two dwarf mongooses were being harassed by young lions from the Ntsevu pride, and had to wait quite a while before it was safe to come out of their log home.
The Othawa male is without doubt the most magnificent male lion we are currently viewing on Londolozi.
Rangers out on drive, listening intently to a story being told by Shaun D’Araujo (out of frame). Nick Sims is on the left and Josh Attenborough on the right.
Another tiny elephant calf, testing its trunk out. Young calves like this are all flailing limbs and trunk, still not having complete control of everything.
We stumbled on this crash of young rhinos on a cool morning just as they had come out of a mud wallow. Even on cloudy days rhinos will still take to the mud as it serves as a parasite repellant as well as a thermoregulatory mechanism.
Most impala lambs are born in November and December, but we found this very late one up by the airstrip this week. Having missed the mass influx of lambs into the system, it is incredibly vulnerable as its much smaller stature makes it an instant target for predators.
We lucked out, arriving at Finfoot Crossing just as this breeding herd arrived to drink, and they walked across the river shortly afterwards.
Unfortunately I only had a 300mm lens with me so was unable to capture a wide scene of the crossing, which would have been better, but still managed to snap a few of this calf, which was safely nestled in the middle of the herd as they surged through the water.
The Mawelawela male is not seen that often, and when he is, he is generally quite skittish. Here he had killed and hoisted a young zebra, but was watching warily from 100 metres away as we approached. Not wanting to spook him, this long-distance view was the only one we were afforded.